Bell and Rogers to partner to buy Leafs and Raptors

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) is on the verge of being sold to Bell Media and Rogers Communications.

Major news outlets are reporting this evening that the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is close to selling off its 79.5% stake in MLSE to the two telecom giants.

While bitter rivals on the sports television scene (Bell owns TSN and Rogers operates Sportsnet), the proposed deal has the competitors partnering to own MLSE’s Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, and Toronto FC.

The Toronto Sun story said that the purchase price of the Bell/Rogers stake could be as high as $2 Billion and that a key development was that MLSE chairman Larry Tanenbaum (who owns the remaining 20.5%) supports the sale.

If the sale proceeds, Bell Media also would have to divest its 18% ownership stake in the Montreal Canadiens. Bell also has the naming rights to the Canadiens building, the Bell Centre. Rogers also owns the Toronto Blue Jays.

Looks like non-Leaf fans in Western Canadian hockey markets will have no choice but to move their cell phone contracts to Telus.

Photo: The late Ted Rogers with MLSE's Richard Peddie in 2006 in Toronto - Nathan Denette of The Canadian Press

Bell Canada
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing the most comprehensive and innovative suite of communication services to residential and business customers in Canada. Operating under the Bell brand, the Company's services include Bell Home Phone local and long distance services, Bell Mobility and Solo Mobile wireless, high-speed Bell Internet, Bell TV direct-to-home satellite and... more

Rogers Communications
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

We are a diversified Canadian communications and media company. We are engaged in wireless voice and data communications services through Wireless, Canada's largest wireless provider and the operator of the country's only national Global System for Mobile Communications ("GSM") based network. Through Cable we are one of Canada's largest providers of cable television services as well as... more

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Techvibes NewsDesk

Techvibes is Canada's leading technology media property.Founded in 2002, Techvibes covers technology and business news that impacts Canadians. We combine breaking local news with international coverage to deliver a unique balance of insight and information. The Techvibes Newsdesk covers a broad beat and publishes general news stories. If you have a story you would like covered, email... more

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